Last week, I made my usual go-to low calorie carrot cake cupcakes for an upcoming cookie party (super easy trick, if you’re ever in need: any box cake mix, add a can of pumpkin, no other ingredients and bake 18 muffins, each will have 110-120 cals each, depending on the nutritionals in the box). I usually have one as a treat after dinner (or sometimes, even as my lunch, with a yogurt, for a switch up!), maybe with a dab of peanut butter as ‘frosting.’ With that in mind, I decided to make peanut butter frosting for the cookie party, since a) I knew I’d get an eye-roll for making low-fat cupcakes for a cookie party and b) to dress them up a bit.
*I promise, I’m getting to my point of this post!*
The frosting called for about 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, milk, and 1/3 cup of peanut butter. Um, yumtastic, right? And yum, it was, as I licked the spoon and had to force myself to pour water and soap into the mixing bowl so I wouldn’t gorge myself on frosting. A little while later, my stomach felt heavy and I got that once-familiar ‘sugar mouth’ feeling (ya know, when you eat too much sugar and feel like it’s coating your mouth…or is that just me?!) and it occurred to me. My taste for sweet things is waning. I am becoming far more in love with savory foods and muted sweet treats (such as these low fat cupcakes that taste dense, moist and much more neutral than making them the regular way).
I never quite ‘got’ what people meant when they said their palettes change over time,or evolve. But now, I do. And, this is also in part due to my way of eating now and something Tanya (the mastermind over at barre n9ne studio of course! Love her and her approach, cannot say it enough!) said during a recent nutrition seminar: we need to change our habits when it comes to eating and ‘retrain’ them to want more healthful things.
For example, learn (or retrain) yourself to crave sweet things in the form of an orange, or strawberries, and not as focused on processed or, worse, fake sugars. I rarely eat processed sugars (and never fake after realizing it just tricks me into thinking I am hungry, when I am not), and probably haven’t eaten much of it at all since starting the challenge in May. This frosting experience was an a-ha moment to me: my palette is finally ‘catching up’ to what I eat, and is learning to crave the good, and notsomuch the bad (now if I could just get it to *not* crave wine and cheese…oh, who are we kidding, we all need a little in our lives, right?!)
Now, this isn’t to say that I am perfect, because I am not. Clearly, I enjoy wine. And I plan for wine. And cheese. And whatever else I want to eat. But the key word here is – plan. I plan for when I go out to eat, the best I can. I plan to allot some calories for wine when I’d like it. And to me, that is the difference between a diet and a lifestyle change. There is no short – or long-term goal in a lifestyle change. It is your way of life. Period. It doesn’t mean I will count calories for the rest of my life. It does mean that I will generally understand what my body needs calorie- and nutrient-wise and eat to that, not focus on what I was focusing on previously: eating for pleasure, not as fuel. YES, food can – and should – be fun and pleasurable, but it doesn’t mean over-satiating yourself, over-indulging and getting to that too-full-I’m-going-to-burst feeling. Let’s face it, that feeling never feels good!
So I guess the point of my post, besides waxing poetic about how passionate I really am about this approach, is to just say that this is just working for me. And I firmly believe that it will always work for me. It’ll never feel like a diet. It’ll never feel depriving. It’s all about planning and consistency.
And results. I looked at my before/after pictures from the 60 day challenge again, and wow, this journey has been incredible. And there is so much more to come and so much more I am excited about. Heading into the holidays knowing I will choose smart, pick my (food) battles and come out a winner. Being more involved in the barre n9ne family more than ever, continuing to challenge – both barre n9ne and running. I am excited about the future. I am excited about what’s to come. Sky is truly the limit.
(and I truly hope you don’t get sick of me babbling on about this stuff…it’s what I am passionate about and sometimes, I just gotta put pen to paper on it.)